Archive for More Than A Thousand

Pieni’s highlights of 2016

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2016 by Pieni

This year it was really REALLY tough to choose just 5 shows (Sam Alone, The Mission and Heavenwood should also be there somewhere):
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  1. Hills Have Eyes at Canecas Bar (Paços de Ferreira)
  2. Sonic Syndicate at Göta Källare (Stockholm)
  3. Moonspell at Pavilhão Multiusos (Guimarães)
  4. More Than A Thousand at Time Out Market (Lisboa)
  5. Testament at Coliseu (Porto)

The albums were easier:
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  1. “Stand Up, Forward, March!” by Sister
  2. “Confessions” by Sonic Syndicate
  3. “Atoma” by Dark Tranquillity
  4. “When Patsy Cline Was Crazy…” by Ricky Warwick
  5. “Brotherhood Of The Snake” by Testament

My video top-5 is “lighter” than last year’s: two emotional, one a kind of tribute, and two funny as hell:

  1. “The Beat” by Satan Takes A Holiday
  2. “Make It Right” by Hills Have Eyes
  3. “I Apologize” by Five Finger Death Punch
  4. “The Great Disillusion” by Betraying The Martyrs
  5. “Call Me” by Pain

Anticipations/expectations for 2017:
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  1. Infraktor – a “gourmet thrash metal” all-star project who I’m proud of being close to, hence keeping tabs on. Let’s see how others will receive them.
  2. Hills Have Eyes – saw some new pictures of the boys in the studio. Needless to say I’m thrilled.
  3. Equaleft – yep, something’s still brewing…
  4. Five Finger Death Punch – “Got Your Six” isn’t my favorite 5FDP album but it’s still good enough. Let’s see if what they’re up to now pleases me more.
  5. Guns N’ Roses – this is a live expectation. I’m having totally mixed feelings about this reunion. Not even sure if I’ll go to the Portugal show, so I’m also expectant on what my final decision will be…

Happy New Year peeps!

Renata “Pieni” Lino

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More Than A Thousand w/ support – Madrid, Spain

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 9th February 2016 by Pieni

More Than A Thousand, Hills Have Eyes, Cannibal Grandpa
Starving Conciertos, Madrid (ES)
2nd February 2016
Promoted by HFMN Crew/Avocado Booking

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After the announcement of a no-end-in-sight hiatus, the time has come for the “Before We Go” farewell tour of More Than A Thousand. It kicked off last Tuesday in Madrid (Spain), along with their long-term buddies Hills Have Eyes. Swiss hardcore act Promethee would join from the third date on, leaving the two Spanish dates to be supported by Spanish bands. In Madrid, deathcore Cannibal Grandpa had the honors of doing so.
 photo _DSC0122 copy_zpsjcuib21z.jpgFounded in 2013 and having released their debut album, “Feed Your Food”, a few months ago, these youngsters seem to already have a considerable number of followers. Some of them were there, singing along and slamdancing like there was no tomorrow. Well deserved, as Cannibal Grandpa are indeed good in what they do. Too bad the stage was too small, otherwise I’m pretty sure there would’ve been more movement up there. Still, they managed to put up a vigorous performance, living up to the brutality of songs such as “Face To Face”, “Grey Man” or “Legacy”.

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www.facebook.com/cannibalgrandpa

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More than wanting to say goodbye to More Than A Thousand – I believe I’ll have a chance to do so in our homecountry – I wanted to see/support Hills Have Eyes outside our borders. I was even wearing my “Antebellum” tee, but the venue was freezing (the damn AC was unnecessarily in full mode) and eventually I had to put on my jacket. Oh well.
HHE’s setlist was quite even between “Strangers” and the latest “Antebellum”. When you have three amazing albums and you’re not playing as headliners, the choice gets tough, but the guys did a great job, performing the “most mandatory” songs.
“Anyway, It’s Gone” was one of them, although Vasco from More Than A Thousand didn’t join Fábio on the vocals, as he does in the studio version (and often live as well). That was kind of bittersweet – it would have been something to see those two forces together once again, but HHE didn’t have that many fans in the house, and inviting Vasco over would have felt like a cheap trick to win the crowd’s affection. And given the general response throughout the show, they did win it.

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www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes

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When the lights went out, hinting the beginning of More Than A Thousand’s last concert in Madrid, the people clustered so tightly around the stage that it felt like their number had doubled. And then the first echoes of “Feed The Caskets” brought the place down. Like their “brothers” HHE – a title Vasco dearly used more than once – MTAT also focused on just their two latest albums. Nothing against what they’ve played – me and everybody else sang loudly along the whole time – but more like what they haven’t played. As a farewell tour, I was hoping for a longer show and a bit of every phase in their discography (although we did listen to a snippet of “The Red River Murder”, as someone in the crowd screamed for it whenever he had the chance). But it was still an intense goodbye, with Vasco using some funny Spanish expressions he apparently had just learned, or more serious remarks like the song he dedicated to The Ghost Inside and the heartfelt advice about never giving up of our dreams, no matter what/who. Those verses from the chorus in “No Bad Blood” – “this is who we are / these words will last forever” – came truly alive that night.

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www.facebook.com/morethanathousand

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Laurus Nobilis Música Famalicão 2015 – metal day

Posted in Festival, Gig with tags , , , , , , , , , on 28th July 2015 by Pieni

Mão Morta, R.A.M.P., More Than A Thousand, Éden
Louro, Famalicão (PT)
24th July 2015

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Laurus Nobilis is a new 3-day festival in the north of Portugal. Each day is dedicated to a different genre of music – in fact, the alternative name of the fest is “Festa da Música” (Music Party) – the first being “heavy metal”, so off I went last Friday.

“Heavy Metal” in its general meaning, that is, as none of the four bands had such a traditional sound.

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The first band, Éden, was supposed to get on stage at 19:30 but the show was delayed for about an hour. It wasn’t the band’s fault, not even the promoter’s. It’s just that it was a week-day, and despite being summer, a lot of people are still at work. Even at 20:30 there was only a fraction of the big crowd that would later pack nicely the area in front of the stage.

Éden is local band that’s been around for 20 years – although I confess it was the first time I’ve heard of them. Metal sung in Portuguese, with an alternative vibe and a very expressive singer. Despite the long career, it seems they only have two albums out – “Kaos” (1999) and “Ciclo Fechado” (2012) – but they’ve always been active, either playing live or working in other musical projects, so there wasn’t any hint of rustiness in their  photo _DSC0540_zpsqecnubjo.jpgperformance. Some people in the audience engaged in their sound right away but others – especially the kids who were already at the front row waiting for More Than A Thousand – were a little harder to convince. But in the song “Voa” (which means “fly”), frontman AguiarS smiled and said “you’re not flying… but we are!”. And that was amusing enough to make the more skeptical let themselves go to Éden’s sound.
For the last song, AguiarS left the stage while a couch was placed in front of the drumkit. He’d soon return wearing a white tunic and holding a staff, which automatically made me think of St. Peter. But since they have a song named “S.º Sinfrónio”, I believe that was the song that closed the gig.

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Then More Than A Thousand stormed the stage with “Feed The Caskets”. Like I’ve said before, they had a legion of fans eager to see them – including me. MTAT announced early this month that they’re going into a hiatus, one with no foreseen expiration date, so I tip my hat to Laurus Nobilis promoters for recognizing the band’s talent (trust me – that’s not always the case around here, in their own home country) and giving them one more chance to say goodbye to their fans – some of them who were seeing MTAT for the first time and whom singer Vasco Ramos “welcomed to the family”.  photo _DSC0091 copy_zpspnkefaho.jpgI’ve seen MTAT a couple of times before (a lot less than I’d like to, sadly) and the interaction between the band and the crowd feels indeed as if you’re among good friends. Vasco keeps the spirits up constantly, asking for screams, jumps, fists in the air and mosh pits, and the other members, even without a microphone, encourage the crowd just the same by clapping their hands or simply with their lively posture. So what if Vasco went out of tune once or twice? Their music is top-notch metalcore and the way they give themselves to it is a match. I was just hoping for a somewhat longer gig, but that understandable delay messed with every band’s schedule (except for the headliners, that is). Still we heard a fair share of their mandatory songs, the last being the usual “No Bad Blood”.

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I’m not sure how famous R.A.M.P. are outside of Portugal, but here they’re close to legends – after all, they were the first metal band to enter the Portuguese music charts, back in 1998. And more than 25 years after their formation, and despite their latest album (“Visions”) being six years old already, they still stir crowds – because they’re one of those bands that always deliver a tremendous show, new material or not.
Also, they’re proof that metal can be as aggressive as amusing – that flood of heavy riffs and sharp beats always hand-in-hand with funny faces and teasing one another (bass player Sales, being the youngest and the shortest, is their favorite target…). Let’s not forget singer Rui Duarte’s remarks. I believe my favorite from this show was when there was a little misunderstanding  photo ricardo_zpszmwjojjh.jpgregarding the next song to play. As I’ve said before, the schedules suffered some changes and it seems that Rui thought they’d be playing even less than they actually would. So he started introducing the ballad “Alone”, which he always dedicates to his mother, but drummer Paulinho called him, telling him there was still one song before that. “Okay, so this one is not for my mother, is for an ex-girlfriend”, was how he amended the introduction to “Clear”.
There were a lot of classics missing from this setlist, but since their last tour was a best-of one, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, it was refreshing listening to songs that I hadn’t heard live in a while. And by the crowd’s response, they were happy too.

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I’m pretty sure that headliners Mão Morta (dead hand) are unknown to non-Portuguese natives. Here, they are huge. They’re considered avant-garde/death rock, but personally, I think they’re too unique to fit any label. The songwriting is dark, in a creepy kind of way, and then the lyrics address capitalism and politics in general, as well as human rights and basic instincts – sung in Portuguese, in Adolfo Luxúria Canibal’s overly-deep voice, it was almost impossible not being a success around here.
 photo _DSC0690 copy_zpssmo5njlv.jpgWith 16 albums out – the latest, “Pelo Meu Relógio São Horas De Matar” (according to my watch it’s time to kill), released last year – the band delighted the audience with recent tracks just as “Os Ossos De Marcelo Caetano” (Marcelo Caetano’s bones) and “Pássaros A Esvoaçar” (birds flying), and old ones like “Tu Disseste” (you said) or “Anarquista Duval” (Duval the anarchist). It’s not exactly my cup of tea, but one look at all those people swaying to that sound and it was clear that the headlining role had been deserved.

I wasn’t at the other days of the festival, but this first one was convincing enough – a great place, with very welcoming people, diverse food spots and, of course, some of the finest names in our musical scene. See you next year!

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Gallery in our Facebook page here.

1st edition of Laurus Nobilis Music (Famalicão, Portugal) to kick off next week

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 15th July 2015 by Pieni

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Laurus Nobilis is the name of a new Portuguese project whose goal is to celebrate music in general, in the form of a festival suitably called ‘Festa da Música’ (Music Party). So not only the genre of the artists will be diverse – from classic music to heavy metal – but also the level of fame will go from underground newbies to acclaimed international acts. In fact, the headliners are the legendary The Waterboys.

Promoters Ecos Culturais do Louro (which translates to ‘cultural echoes from Louro’) also aim to cement an association, together with Casa do Artista Amador (‘home of the amateur artist’), that will support all kinds of art. Noble indeed.

This first fest will take place in Louro, Famalicão, from 24th to 26th of July, with the following bill:

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We will bring you a full report on the first day, the one dedicated to metal and alternative music (Mão Morta, R.A.M.P., More Than A Thousand and Éden).

www.laurusnobilis.pt/

More Than A Thousand w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 8th December 2014 by Pieni

More Than A Thousand, Devil In Me, Hills Have Eyes, Kandia
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
6th December 2014

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Last Saturday, Hard Club welcomed what is probably the best metalcore band in the country and their special guests, who are also high in the ranks of popularity around here. The result? An unforgettable, explosive night!

 photo _DSC0028_zpsf3c3054b.jpgFirst band on stage was Kandia, the “only local band”, as singer Nya would remark. She would also motivate the crowd by saying something like “let’s show these bands from the south that Porto knows how to rock”. Having just 20 minutes to play (“but sometimes quickies are good too, right?”, she teased), and also to give something different to the fans who have been seeing their recent shows, they’ve replaced “Caution + New Breed” with “Noise + All Is Gone” as the kick-off of the gig. The crowd was very responsive to Kandia, which was really good to see, since the other three bands were much more aggressive and I wasn’t sure how their fans would react to Kandia’s alternative rock.
As I said before, when reviewing their concert at Vagos Open Air, even though all musicians put their heart and soul in the performance, it’s Nya who gets the ultimate prize in stage attitude, enhancing the energy and emotion of the songs – the last one of their short but enthralling set being “Karma”. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/Kandiamusic

 photo _DSC0095_zps1558035b.jpgHills Have Eyes took some time to get on stage as there was some problem with the sound. People were getting impatient and eventually the show started, even if the tech wasn’t 100% satisfied with the sound. But the crowd clearly didn’t care – when a band puts up a show like Hills Have Eyes does, imperfect sound is a minor detail. Such an adrenaline discharge! At some point singer Fábio Batista asked who was seeing Hills Have Eyes for the first time and a bunch of arms were raised. But that didn’t mean they’d never heard of them before, ‘cause the choir of voices singing along the songs was way too loud. And those who weren’t singing, were vigorously headbanging or moshing – Hills Have Eyes are definitely loved and everybody wanted to shake Fábio‘s hand when he jumped in the pit and greeted the fans.
When you don’t have too much time to play, it’s only natural that you focus on your latest work and neglect the older stuff. That’s what Hills Have Eyes did (as much as I’d have loved to listen to “Daydreaming Isn’t So Good After All”, for instance)– the set was almost entirely focused on “Strangers”, the “almost” meaning a new song called “Bringer Of Rain”. Since “Strangers” was released in 2012, it’s about time its follow-up starts getting shape!
Just like the studio version, Vasco Ramos from More Than A Thousand joined Fábio on stage to sing “Anyway, It’s Gone”, and then the title-track of “Strangers” closed a gig that lasted a bit longer than Kandia’s but still not long enough. Hills Have Eyes have just been added to my bands-to-see-as-headliners list. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes

 photo _DSC0482_zps4ee3ba12.jpgDevil In Me was the only band I didn’t know, even though, apparently, they’re quite big. But then again, hardcore isn’t really my area of expertise… Their light show was poor, so I could barely see the guys. Singer Poli paced around like a wild animal in a cage, guitarist Matos stretched his legs in high jumps… I guess that even if the lights were clearer, I’d still have trouble seeing more than blurs of movement. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but I can’t find another way to pass through the idea of the blitz that was going on up there. And down there too, as the mosh and crowdsurfing was soon matching the aggression of the sound.
Three albums out, the fourth, “Soul Rebel”, is on its way. So among songs like “Only God Can Judge Me” and “The End”, we got to hear the title-track of that upcoming record and even sing along the chorus, as singer Poli made us scream “like a lion” in response to his “soul rebel”. The crowd roared like lions indeed.
There’s no hardcore band who doesn’t point a finger to the joke that’s our political and economic situation, but among that Poli said something else, something more positive – “when you’re at home, listening to music, listen to it with open ears, ‘cause music is much more than clothes and appearance, it sends a message”. Nice! (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/devilinmeband

 photo _DSC0573a_zps8488e600.jpgI won’t say that there were “more than a thousand” people watching the show not just because it would be a tacky pun but also because it wouldn’t be accurate – one thousand is precisely the capacity of Hard Club and there was still room to breathe. But barely! And since they’d played at that very venue, for the same number (give or take) of people, just nine months before, that says A LOT about More Than A Thousand. And if we used emoticons here on Valkyrian, here’s where I’d put a heart.
The setlist was pretty similar to that one of March (and this is a mere statement, not at all a complaint), replacing “Lost At Home” for “Cross My Heart”, and “Black Hearts” and “Make Friends And Enemies” for an “old school 5-track medley” – something Vasco claimed that they’d never done before.
And the order of the other songs was changed, like opening with “Feed The Caskets” (my personal favorite) or “We Wrote A Song About You” being played more or less in the middle of the show. For this one, like in March, and in so many others whenever Fábio is available, the singer of Hills Have Eyes joined in. The two bands have been close friends for a long while, and one can tell by the way Vasco and Fábio insult each other – “but we like each other very much. It’s something gay”, said Vasco.
Unchanged were “Midnight Calls” and “In Loving Memory (Life Flashes)”, when Vasco stood alone on stage, playing the guitar himself. And the mandatory “No Bad Blood” closing it up with golden key – hearing the whole room singing “this is who we are, tonight we’ll stay together” is especially flesh-crawling. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/morethanathousand

Vasco thanked the other bands and everybody who got out of the house to support Portuguese bands, but he forgot someone: the ONLY security guy who did a hell of a job handing the moshers and crowdsurfers all by himself. I tip my hat to you, Joel!

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino